Whether you’re in construction, electrical, or plumbing, invoicing is a vital skill set for any Australian tradie. After all, there’s little chance you’ll get paid accurately and on time if you’re always drafting cluttered and unclear bills. Poorly composed invoices also affect your ability to record sales figures, track revenues, and maintain a healthy cash flow.
To master the art of invoicing, you need to learn how to create a pristine and professional invoice that has the following elements:
Logo and layout
Placing your company logo on the invoice header makes your documents official and adds a sense of professionalism. Plus, the general layout of your invoice should be organised in neat rows and columns and use simple fonts so clients can seamlessly process the information.
Job management systems like WorkBuddy integrate with your accounting software to create custom templates of your invoices. This way, your logos and layouts are consistent across clients, and all you need to do is input specific client and business information.
Company contact information
Your invoice must mention all the details a client needs in case they need to reach you or ask questions about the bill. Naturally, your business name and address should be on the header followed by contact numbers and email addresses. If you haven’t already done so, use an email address that looks professional, too. That means using an email address that has your formal business name, not some random personal account like “firstname.lastname@example.org.” It’s also more professional to have a custom company domain like “@acmeconstruction.com” rather than default domains from free email services like Gmail.
Key client details like their name, company name (if applicable), address, and contact information should be placed below the header. You should also confirm the contact person because who you’re supposed to send the bill to may differ from whom you’ve been regularly speaking with.
Date and unique invoice number
Adding issuing dates and invoice numbers provide useful reference points for you and your clients. For example, if you need to follow up certain invoices, dated and numbered invoices will help narrow down your search. Having these references also makes auditing a breeze and improves the rate at which you can file tax returns.
When assigning invoice numbers, you’ll want to stick to a consistent numbering system that’s easy to follow. One idea is to use abbreviations of project and customer names and a number (e.g., ABC001, ABC002, and so on). Accounting platforms like Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB Online automatically number invoices to your formatting preferences, making them easy to retrieve from your database.
Payment due date
To ensure clients pay on time, avoid using vague payment instructions like “Payment due in 30 days.” Instead, set exact deadlines on the bill such as “Payment due on 20 December 2020.” This information should be prominently displayed on the invoice by using fonts that are either in bold, bigger in size or of a different colour.
Itemised list of services
The main section of your invoice must list each of the services provided in a table with the following information:
- A short description of materials used and work completed
- Quantity of special materials used
- Hours spent on the specific project
- Billable rates
- Subtotals for each listed service
WorkBuddy streamlines this process by keeping detailed records of billable hours and price books. The job management software accounts for everything including the category of work, geographical zones, and job type to calculate accurate subtotals. It then compiles all this information in one place, allowing you to create itemised service lists in mere seconds.
Total amount due
Sum up the total amount clients owe for the services provided and calculate Goods and Services Tax (GST). Make sure to highlight the total amount including taxes to help clients quickly understand what they’re expected to pay.
Not everyone pays cash on hand, which is why you should write the different payment methods your business accepts. This usually includes cash, check, credit card, direct bank deposits, and online payments. Whatever payment options are available for your business, provide any relevant information that will enable clients to make the transaction.
Additionally, some services may be too expensive to pay in one lump sum, so outlining weekly or monthly instalment payment plans are essential. Your invoice should also outline late payment policies and extra fees for late payments.
Taking the time to include all these details not only makes your invoices more professional, but they help you get paid faster, too. When WorkBuddy and your accounting platform are combined, you can automatically generate official and accurate invoices on-site. This in turn encourages customers to pay as soon as possible, which is a huge plus for your cash flow.
Book a free demo today to learn more about how WorkBuddy simplifies job invoicing and eliminates tedious manual processes.